Clubs Australia Supports Government's Latest Pokies Reform
Wednesday 4 April, 2012 17:04
Clubs Australia, an industry body representing the interests of Australia's
4,000 licensed clubs, is reportedly happy with the Federal Government's
latest pokies reform plan and such has called off its campaign against
The organization has asked its supporters and members around the country to
remove all posters, beer coasters and other material supporting their campaign.
The Federal Government announced that they were deferring their plans until
May and would begin a trial of mandatory pre-commitment technology in the ACT in
"While we remain on alert watching the progress of the Federal Government's
legislative agenda and political maneuverings, it is time to remove campaign
material from our clubs and surrounds," read the Clubs Australia memo.
"This applies to both 'It's UnAustralian' and 'Won't Work, Will Hurt'
materials," the memo specified.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has guaranteed that any measures they implement
will be evidence-based and Clubs Australia spokesperson, Jeremy Bath, has said
that the organization will take her at her word.
The campaign against the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment technology
cost $3.5 million and involved multiple media outlets including television,
radio, newspaper and billboards.
Clubs in NSW, Victoria and Queensland claimed that the introduction of the
technology would severely impact their revenue, have an effect on jobs and
disadvantage thousands of community groups that the clubs funded.
According to Mr. Bath, opinion polls taken late last year indicated a sharp
decline in support for mandatory pre-commitment.
"In terms of the success of the campaign, if you measure the success by
public understanding of mandatory pre-commitment and the implications for clubs
and problem gamblers, it was a successful one," he suggested. "But, I don't know
if there are any winners."
Senator Xenophon Remains Sceptical of Changes
Anti-pokies campaigner, Senator Nick Xenophon is sceptical of the many
changes in policies and the government's position on pokies reform. A few months
ago, Prime Minister Julia Gillard went back on her written agreement with
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie to introduce the mandatory pre-commitment
The government's new policy includes a trial of the technology, as well as
additional funding for education and counseling. In addition, these measures
have been pushed off from the original dates scheduled.
Senator Xenophon expressed the opinion that Clubs Australia has "gone from a
hysterical overreaction to premature exaltation in the course of a few months."
"I am quite happy for them to be lulled into their false sense of security?.
Hubris is a dangerous thing in politics," he said.